NEWmatica: The Power of Percussion
Britannia Mine Museum
New music, modern tap dance, and the building itself played as a musical instrument
Multi-disciplinary performers join forces to showcase their musical expression through rhythm, melody, harmony and text at the Britannia Mine Museum (a National Historic site).
Soaring 26 storeys into the air, the Mill Concentrator (one of the last remaining gravity-fed concentrator mills in North America) boasts 14,416 window-panes, and a cathedral-like acoustic. Furthering Astrolabe’s commitment to empowering audiences through active participation, members of the public (through a series of workshops) join the performers during the concert by, literally, playing the building as a musical instrument itself in this tour-de-force program featuring R. Murray Schafer’s Tantrika in honour of the composer’s 80th birthday year. Co-presented by Astrolabe Musik Theatre and the Britannia Mine Museum.
DANNY NIELSEN, contemporary tap dancer
HEATHER PAWSEY, soprano
DAYNA SZYNDROWSKI, contemporary tap dancer
Third Construction – John Cage
forever and sunsmell – John Cage
Train – Jocelyn Morlock
Darwin’s Walken Fish Quartet – Jocelyn Morlock
Tantrika – R. Murray Schafer
North Shore News – May 24, 2013
Musicians play concert inside massive mine
Workers toiled to extract copper and ore from the mine for more than 50 years. Three decades after its closure a small band is heading back into the gravity-fed concentrator mill to mine for music. Heather Pawsey, the founder of Astrolabe Musik Theatre, has had audiences scour an aquarium for musicians the way a child might search for a cache of chocolate on Easter Sunday. She’s burst from a grand piano during a funeral home performance, and now she’s asking her audience to descend into one of the most acoustically unique sites in B.C.
Percussionists, tap dancers and opera singer to come together for unique performance inside Britannia mine
The Province – May 22, 2013
The venue itself will be played as a musical instrument during NEWmatica, a concert of new music and modern tap dance featuring Fringe Percussion, soprano Heather Pawsey and tap dancers Danny Nielsen and Dayna Szyndrowski. Towering 26 stories above the Sea to Sky Highway, the ore mill at the Britannia Mine Museum is an imposing monument to extracting mineral wealth from the Earth. Grinders, conveyors and pneumatic hammers pounded out a steady, pulsing beat in the building that echoed all across Howe Sound for decades. Now Astrolabe Musik Theatre wants to revive that percussive industrial history, but as something modern and classical.
The Georgia Straight – May 23, 2013
For 70 years, the Britannia Mine was one of the West Coast’s most productive sources of copper—but it’s sonic gold that Astrolabe Musik Theatre is hoping to find during its third venture into the towering structure, now the Britannia Mine Museum, located just a short Sea-to-Sky drive north of West Vancouver. “Hoping”, though, is an understatement. Astrolabe’s artistic director, Heather Pawsey, knew she’d hit the audio motherlode the moment she walked into the historic structure on the shores of Howe Sound.
Burnaby Now – May 13, 2013
On the beat: Burnaby-based tap dancer Danny Nielsen will be performing at the Britannia Mine Museum in a collaborative, industrial percussion piece. Modern tap dancing is no longer just about bow ties and jazz hands on Broadway. Just ask Burnaby-based Danny Nielsen. Wearing a ball cap, tank top and gold necklace, he looks more hip hop than tap, but when he gets moving, it’s easy to see how his chosen art form has evolved to encompass a wide variety of fashion and music styles.
Vancouver Vantage – May 23, 2015
Co-produced by Astrolabe Musik Theatre and the Britannia Mine Museum, NEWmatica is a riveting, site-specific, and interdisciplinary concert of new music and modern tap dance, where the venue itself is played as a musical instrument.
MountainFM – May 22, 2013
Not many groups can say they’ve played a mine. Not so for Astrolabe Musik Theatre, a local collective slated to perform a site-specific interdisciplinary concert and dance at the Britannia Mine Museum at the end of this month.
BC Living – May 23, 2013
When it comes to music, some people prefer cutting-edge to classic. If that sounds like you, check out NEWmatica, a site-specific concert that combines new music with modern tap dance at Squamishʼs Britannia Mine Museum. And proving that the power of percussion extends far beyond drums, the venue itself will be played as an instrument, as musicians and tap dancers showcase their respective talents.
Maple Ridge News – May 28, 2013
NEWmatica is a riveting, site-specific, and interdisciplinary concert of new music and modern tap dance, where the venue itself is played as a musical instrument.
NEWmatica concert using mill concentrator building as instrument
The Chief – May 23, 2013
A different type of concert is coming to the Britannia Mine Museum. NEWmatica will take over the 23-storey mill concentrator building at the museum and those in attendance will get a chance to hear the old building used in a unique way.
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